Warning: Invalid argument supplied for foreach() in /var/www/html/wordpress/wp-content/themes/powp/template-parts/content.php on line 33
Notice: Undefined variable: nroEdicion in /var/www/html/wordpress/wp-content/themes/powp/template-parts/content.php on line 155

“These protests are against racism, but also against the despair generated by capitalism”

Testimonies of the popular rebellion in USA; interview with Sean Larson of Rampant Magazine Chicago

Sean Larson is an editor of Rampant Magazine (rampantmag.com) in Chicago.

-What has the conflict been like this week in your area?

-The conflict has been very sharp, almost 100% spontaneous, and widespread. The only trusted institutions in the city around these protests are the Black organizer groups that have been doing the important organizing work for years. Right now, these groups are very overstretched doing on-the-ground support for poor communities whose food and childcare has been cut off by the city, and jail support for protesters, so that leaves little capacity left to organize and lead demonstrations. But people come out every night by the thousands, all over the city, sometimes in 5-6 places with little communication amongst each other. It is predominately youth, people in their early 20s to early 30s, very multiracial. There is a deep wellspring of anger and it has only grown so far, even in the face of sadistic violence by the police. My view is only partial, though, and member of one of the radical Black organizations would have a fuller picture.

-What social and political sectors are important in the demonstrations in your area?

-Teachers and schools, transit workers, and nurses. Anyone responsible for social reproduction, not the traditional industrial working class. The people in these social reproduction sectors are very disproportionately people of color and women, so there are far more political dimensions, struggles against oppression, involved in these workplaces.

 -Together with the evident demands against the racism of the state and police killings, what role do you think social and economic concerns play in the mass demonstrations seen this week?

-The demands against racist police violence overshadow everything else, that is what this rebellion is centrally about. But of course these rebellions are responding to much more: the longstanding sense of social and economic hopelessness in Black and brown communities that have been systematically neglected by city policy for decades (centuries), the COVID-19 pandemic that has forced these very same communities into work and contact with the public as so-called “essential” workers (which only means they are disposable in the eyes of the ruling class), the impending economic depression triggered by the pandemic and the way that eclipses the future even more, and the general apocalyptic melancholia brought on by the disaster of climate change, which is driving a lot of the youth anger. These demonstrations are about racism, but also about the all-sided desperation of late capitalism.

-What slogans and political demands are popular among demonstrators?

-Black Lives Matter, defund the police, fuck the police, abolish the police.

-Are you aware of any initiatives to effectively coordinate the protests nationwide or to discuss a political platform or a set of demands for the movement across the country?

-No, these are very unorganized. There are the traditional, professional leftists, some even with good revolutionary politics, who are playing a conservatizing role by waiting and seeing what will happen. There is no leadership whatsoever right now, though there are many, many attempts to co-opt or capitalize on the rebellion. People get their updates from Twitter, not from organizations.

-How can workers, youths and the oppressed effectively organize to defeat the Trump government and its repressive onslaught, in your opinion?

-I think, abstractly, we have to build a revolutionary party rooted in the multiracial working class that can contend for mass influence and ultimately smash the capitalist state. But in practice, it is the groups with the deepest roots in communities, teachers’ unions, people who have done mutual aid work, community organizing, that have the most potential influence right now, and most of those groups obviously do not have a revolutionary perspective. It is a bit difficult to even think about channeling this uprising in any direction or durable organization right now, but hopefully that will come as the demands to defund the police raise larger questions of social and political priorities and wealth distribution. Trust among organizers is a precious commodity right now, and good will built up over the previous years is indispensable. Meanwhile, those who have only helped themselves leading up to this have no moral authority and remain isolated.

 -What debates are there among militants and activists today in the states regarding promoting  an organization of the working class independent of the traditional bipartisan political system?

-There are always abstract discussions of an electoral working-class alternative, but in practice it is seen as far too big of a wasted effort as an immediate step, because unless you get over 50 percent of the vote, you do not get any seats and it was all a wasted campaign, due to our “first past the post” electoral system. This is a major block on any of these electoral efforts, and there is not an easy fix if you want to participate in elections. The largest socialist organization in the country, the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA), is very heterogeneous and loosely organized, so it is much easier for the organization to issue statements online than to take decisive steps to further the rebellion. Within DSA, there are many positions, some want to use the Democratic Party to reach more people, others want to focus on their local communities rather apolitically. The Left in general is very unprepared for this rebellion, but of course it is more than welcomed and I support it unconditionally.

También te puede interesar:

Chile - Canadá - Estados Unidos - Alemania
El documental de Lisa Kovner rescata la historia de las pioneras de la música electrónica en Europa y los Estados Unidos, con los vaivenes de la historia del siglo XX como telón de fondo.
Impulsamos medidas de lucha contra esta injerencia imperialista.